Here is our countdown of the top-trending pieces and posts generating buzz and airplay in content marketing. These intriguing conversations and case studies not only drove eyeballs and downloads but stirred some interesting comments and dialogue along the way.
Double Up on Data
About three-quarters (73%) of B2B buyers say they have less time to devote to reading and research, according to our findings in the 2019 Content Preferences Survey Report. Citing our data, Marketing Charts points to a handful of actions marketers can take to appeal to these buyers.
First is to strengthen your content with data and research – a move that nearly two-thirds (66%) of our respondents agree would improve content quality. Nearly as many (66%) agree that they wish vendors would curb the sales messages. Fewer form fills and other barriers to content will help the 59% of B2B buyers who strongly agree that they want content that’s easier to access. More than half (51%) want less copy, so be concise.
Play By the Rules
Industries such as pharmaceuticals, alcohol, financial services, insurance and the burgeoning marijuana sector with tightly regulated marketing restrictions still need to attract customers with content. You can do that with thought leadership content that supports a strong SEO strategy. Moving up the search ladder requires you to create trustworthy thought leadership content that educates rather than sells. Fact-based infographics and video are good bets.
You can avoid running afoul of the law by leaning on influencers to make your case with their loyal and engaged followers. They can drive the conversation with likely customers for you. And targeted email lists let you speak directly with customers about news, events and promotions. Get creative with content formats, and make sure you have a clean website design where visitors can quickly find the information they’re after whether they’re on a phone, tablet or desktop.
The more humorous an advertisement is, the more impactful it’s likely to be, according to data from MillwardBrown. But B2B marketers are justifiably skittish about incorporating humor in their marketing efforts. Done poorly, it may come across as unprofessional or even offensive. Econsultancy recommends tapping the Humor Styles Questionnaire developed by researchers in 2003 to understand differences in humor and identify the four distinct styles: affiliative, aggressive, self-enhancing and self-deprecating. When you identify the characteristics of the different styles, you can better predict how a joke will land. By recognizing the intention behind humor you can create high-impact messaging that resonates and converts.
A recent Gartner ranking of 87 U.S. manufacturing brands in four sectors – energy, healthcare, industrials and materials – found that the majority fell into the “challenged” and “feeble” categories when it comes to digital marketing competence. Kyle Reese, director at Gartner, recommends that these manufacturers need to leverage digital marketing to advance and support new and existing business opportunities, not just as a means to create top-of-funnel demand.
Marketers in the manufacturing sectors need to push further to transition to more customer-focused approaches to drive engagement and conversion. Be among the first of your competitors to adapt to changing customer behaviors, and you’ll be positioned for more than your share of success with digital business strategies.
More than a year after Randy Frisch, President and CMO of Uberflip, published a blog post that raised a lot of eyebrows in the content marketing sector, he sits down with diginomica to discuss his unwavering belief that content marketers must shift our focus from creating great content to delivering great content experiences. He’s since expanded that initial blog post into a full-fledged book. (I’m half way through F#ck Content Marketing: Focus on Content Experience to Drive Demand, Revenue and Relationships, which I highly recommend.)
CMI research supports his assertions; most content marketers focus more on content creation than on distribution, and most lack a documented content marketing strategy. Frisch talks about a handful of positive steps, from creating “content experience managers” who understand what content appeals to different audiences to employing a framework that includes personalization and distribution.
We hope we’ve helped inspire you on your path to improving B2B marketing content. If you’re eager to read more, check out our Resources Page.